Ethical vs Moral

Yesterday on Skype I was talking with my friend Jamie about the words morality and ethics. I have used the terms interchangeably as long as I can remember. However my friend Jamie thinks that morality has a reputation of being a religious term while ethics tends to be more secular.

Here are some definitions from the WordWeb dictionary.


Concerned with principles of right and wrong or conforming to standards of behavior and character based on those principles


1. Motivation based on ideas of right and wrong


1. Concern with the distinction between good and evil or right and wrong; right or good conduct

2. Motivation based on ideas of right and wrong


1. The principles of right and wrong that are accepted by an individual or a social group

2. A system of principles governing morality and acceptable conduct


1. Motivation based on ideas of right and wrong

2. The philosophical study of moral values and rules


1. Of or relating to the philosophical study of ethics

2. Conforming to accepted standards of social or professional behavior

3. Adhering to ethical and moral principles

It would appear that these words overlap so much and give some of the exact same definitions. So while I don’t think there is any serious different in meaning, I would like to ask people who read this whether or not the two words have different meanings to them.


Author: chandlerklebs

I have unusual thoughts on almost every subject. I am as Pro-Life as I can possibly be. I am strongly opposed to violence of any type. That includes rape, war, and (obviously) abortion. Everything I think, speak, and write must be filtered by the effect it could have on the lives of others. If I am in any way promoting violence accidentally, please let me know.

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